The Perfect Church

…And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common.  They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.

They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God.  People in general liked what they saw.  Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.

Acts 2:44-47 -The Message

The perfect Church. What an image.
It sounds too good to be true.

The Church today sounds nothing like the early Church. There are some exceptions. Some places that are thriving. But quite a few are struggling. They are dealing with conflicts. Budgets hang heavily. Programming is stressful when you look at costs and struggle to find volunteers. As attendance declines it’s hard to keep people excited. So we worry and we stew and things get worse.  When you dwell on the negative that’s all you seem to see.

Perhaps the Churches that are thriving, thrive because they see the positive. They live the Gospel. They live hope. Perhaps because of this, they succeed. They don’t stew in the dark, they move towards the light.

The early Church didn’t live in an easy time. They lived with oppression.  They struggled to survive.  In the end they chose to push through the negative. They decided to cling to hope and live in faith.

We don’t live in an easy time, but it’s time for us to follow their example. We must push through the negative. We need to let go of the things that hold us back. It’s time to live in hope, together.

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6 responses to “The Perfect Church

  1. I sometimes think about the early church and it really did seem so much simpler. And as you said it’s not like they lived in easy times either. Our churches have gotten caught up in so much stuff that has so little to do with the Gospel. And our flesh weighs us down even when our spirit yearns for something else.

    • It does seem simpler, until you remember the fights (both within and outside the Church), the oppression they faced and the general lack of knowledge as to how everything was going to go. Too often we get caught up in our troubles and we forget what we gather for. We’re a community of believers following Christ in this time. When we remember that, and realize the power of the message we might get excited again. Hopefully that happens soon!

  2. And again I say – Amen, sista! Negativity breeds negativity. Joy breeds joy. I know there are a lot of problems in any church (people aren’t perfect, after all), but I agree that we need to focus on and celebrate that which is good in our midst. After all, we are free and forgiven! That’s reason enough to be excited and joyful.

  3. You have a point but I think some churches get into this feel good theology and forget that there is suffering involved in life.

    • I agree that suffering is part of life. Jesus himself said “take up your cross and follow me”. That’s an integral part of the Gospel message. I do think that some Churches take suffering to the extreme. They take up their cross and forget to follow Jesus. They get bogged down with all the nasty stuff and forget the message of hope that is there.

      All in all I do think there’s a balance we need to find. Going to extremes on either side is not healthy for anyone!

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